Evil is real
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood
There is no way to approach Tuesday’s tragic news coming out of Uvalde, Texas, that won’t seem bare and ineffective, given the scope of the day’s events.
Mere words of comfort, thoughts and prayers, or the myriad political posturing will not cover the fresh, searing sense of loss and horror.
Robb Elementary School, a predominantly Hispanic school, is said to stand as the third deadliest school shooting in our nation’s history. Nineteen children and two adults will not see another summer break. Families are broken, and there are survivors who have lost their childhood innocence.
The 18-year old shooter, Salvador Ramos, was a student at Uvalde High School, and apparently, he was troubled. At the point of this writing, very little is being reported about him. What we do know is that before his attack at Robb Elementary, he shot his grandmother, then ran from police. After crashing his car near the school, he engaged with officers on the scene, but managed to make his way into the school, and began shooting anyone he saw. He was heavily armored, suggesting his plans were to create some larger shooting event, beyond whatever ill intent he harbored against his grandmother. It took the arrival of tactical teams to eventually bring him down and end his rampage.
Cutting through the understandable horror and outrage, we see the very predictable reactions across social media, as well as those advocates who see political solutions to every problem. The “DO SOMETHING!” they so vociferously advocate, always seems to be focused on the guns, whether to restrict access for law abiding citizens, or to repeal the Second Amendment.
President Joe Biden, who had just returned from a five-day trip to Asia, called for new gun restrictions in emotive remarks following the shooting. “I am sick and tired of it,” he said in a press briefing. “We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage.”
The president added: “As a nation we have to ask—when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
Other Democrats echoed Biden’s sentiments.
Sen. Chris Murphy, who represents Connecticut, where 26 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly a decade ago, urged his colleagues to take action on gun-safety measures that could prevent future mass shootings.
“Just days after a shooter walked into a grocery store to gun down African American patrons, we have another Sandy Hook on our hands. What are we doing?” Murphy said, speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Why are you here, if not to solve a problem as existential as this?”
“It is our choice to let it continue,” he said.
The fallacy here is to suggest that it is anyone’s “choice” to allow these tragic events to take place. No one, short of the shooters, themselves, want to allow any of this.
Will we see more of these horrific events?
We will, along with the accompanying politicization of each event.
The immediate reaction of the left, any time there's a shooting of note, is to call for the seizing of control of our government, and the rights of law-abiding citizens. They spew invectives with ease, because that's preferable to considering EVIL IS REAL, and begins with the heart, not the gun.
After all, were it simply a case of just enacting the right laws, in the right amount, with the appropriate level of restrictions, then we could just make murder illegal, across the board, and that would cover it all, wouldn’t it?
Of course, I’m being facetious.
What is the answer? Do we ignore it? Can we stop it? If not more laws, more restrictions, harsher penalties, or any combination of governmental fixes, then where do we turn?
And this is where you will see resistance, a straining against all evidence, in order to put a worldly patch over a spiritual wound.
We have, even in our churches, been conditioned to see evil as a concept, rather than a real and present force. Certainly, we look at the people who commit these atrocities and call them “evil,” as a part of descriptive language.
How evil must he be to have targeted children?
Why has such evil visited us, once again?
The “how” and the “why” all go back to the same source, and it has nothing to do with the availability of guns in our society. The first murder in recorded history was with a rock, so let’s not pretend a contraption of metal and various springs and locks can somehow become sentient. Every murder, every bad act begins with the will of a person who has had his or her heart darkened. Someone, in every, single case, had the will and the want to do harm.
Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun, and even now, as we wring our hands, podium-pound, and deliver our armchair epilogues across social media, the true solution has already been presented, from days of old.
“…if my people who belong to me will humbly pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 (CEB)
Yes, the answer is, and always has been sincere thoughts, and falling to our knees, on our faces, prone before an almighty God, seeking His will above our own. Those prayers that too many scoff at, and others only speak about for a day, before moving on to something new, they matter.
This is where the atheists and worshipers of government whip themselves into a frenzy. They don’t want to be told they’re wrong, even as the world they hold so sacred crumbles around them.
If humanity had any capacity to fix itself, rather than to self-destruct, then why are we, as a collective, still struggling? We are not evolving. We are sinking into lower, murkier depths. We are in a quagmire of selfishness and depravity. We are at a point of nation against nation, countryman against countryman. Fathers and mothers commit murder against their children.
Even our churches have fallen and failed in their mission, in far too many cases.
How much more will it take to enlighten the willfully blind?
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].” – Ephesians 6:12-13 (AMP)
Do you want to see the tide turn? Do you want to see our communities safe? Our nation – and this world – healed and whole?
This will not come through legislation. You cannot legislate morality. No government solution will bring the change that sustains, because our problem is not a government problem. It is a problem of the spirit. We are under attack, by a force that draws contentment in our chaos and heartbreak.
This world needs revival, and it starts in the heart of you, of me, of us all.
Do you want to see change?
Fix your eyes on things above. You combat evil with holiness, not government.
"This is where the atheists and worshipers of government whip themselves into a frenzy. They don’t want to be told they’re wrong, even as the world they hold so sacred crumbles around them."
"If humanity had any capacity to fix itself, rather than to self-destruct, then why are we, as a collective, still struggling? We are not evolving. We are sinking into lower, murkier depths. We are in a quagmire of selfishness and depravity. We are at a point of nation against nation, countryman against countryman. Fathers and mothers commit murder against their children."
In defense of the atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, and the all rest of us without a Deus Ex Machina who continues to allow this to happen just because mankind has not been praying hard enough, we'll work on fixing this issue with the tools that we have at hand, as opposed to wishing really hard that a Magical Sky Wizard will come down and fix what's broken in humanity that allows these incidents to continue to happen. I half-agree with you that government action alone will not solve this problem, but putting more butts in pews won't solve this issue either.
By throwing up your hands and consigning solutions to this problem to the supernatural realm, you deny the agency and ability of each and every one of us to resist succumbing to such behavior, and to be aware and alert and willing to to offer a hand of help should we see someone else slipping. While the devout wait to hear a Heavenly Voice telling them that it's solving the problem on their behalf or issuing edicts that must be fulfilled before the shootings stop, those of us firmly in the material world will already be working and exercising our own human agency to try and prevent the next murder of innocents. We don't need the permission or guidance of omnipotent beings (who seems to be fine with these shootings, as they keep happening) to do something productive.
Don't drive away your allies and fellow travelers just because they're trying to solve the same problem you are from a different epistemic angle. For all the flack people get for "politicizing" tragedies like this, using them as a vehicle for proselytization is more distasteful. You attack the problem from your angle and we'll attack the problem from ours. We don't need to be attacking each other and distracting ourselves from finding a solution.
I've read your other posts and you don't have a problem "legislating morality" when it comes to abortion, though.